Let’s face it, asking how my ’71 911 was going at the November Porsche Club Out East meet was never going to elicit the response “Perfect Steve. Not a single thing wrong it but I think old cars can become interminably boring over time due to their relentless reliability” ……… was it?
To be fair – I did actually restrict my response to “Pretty good thanks apart from the need for a bit of minor clutch adjustment”.
Steve Winter being the true gentleman he is immediately told me to bring Yellow Peril up to his Jaz Porsche workshop in St Albans the following Saturday where he’d quickly carry out the necessary clutch adjustment.
Mild and sunny November weather was the final enticement I needed to go Out East with the Yellow Peril.
Nick and Ed Pike (organisers of the Porsche Club London Region) hunted down this great venue some months back and the 3rd Sunday in the month meet seems to have become very popular with club members. It’s far less frenetic than the former Smithfield venue i.e. no stroppy traffic wardens!
Whilst listening closely to the Yellow Peril’s engine earlier this week (as you do) – I noticed a bit of a mechanical clattering noise coming from left hand throttle body as I revved the engine using the throttle linkage.
This odd noise and the fact that the engine had gone a bit off-song since its trip to Le Mans Classic in early July prompted me to arrange a visit to see Steve Winter at Jaz Porsche for his expert opinion.
Having hummed and hawed about whether to go to this event or not I finally conceded the night before the last day and I’m glad I did.
I thankfully selected a less busy day and could circulate freely, snapping piccies of nice motors without having to electric-cattle-prod hordes of selfie-takers out of shot.
I was also able to see motors in motion on the Grand Avenue without having to reserve a fence-side viewing place an hour in advance of the demo runs and without having to resort to rugby scrum tactics to get to the front or a ladder to witness the action.
A rather annoying and inconsistent recalcitrance to rev has afflicted my old 911 for a some weeks. Having adjusted the choke and swapped the CDI box to no avail – Steve opted to swap the ignition coil on my latest visit to Jaz Porsche in St Albans as symptoms suggested insufficient spark.
This could be the range of emotions that you’d expect to go through as an integral part of classic car ownership but in the context of this post they refer to remaining problems that had to be sorted out on my engine following its complete rebuild.
With the benefit of hindsight – driving the car to Le Mans in June 2014 before the engine was fully sorted and properly set-up wasn’t one of my better ideas!
Steve did his best to sort things out but both he and I were unaware of some underlying issues which impacted performance and smooth running during the trip.
Thanks to Steve’s perseverance in analysing the multiple, linked issues and sorting them out I now have a car which is running so much better than on the Le Mans trip that I barely recognise it. I just can’t stop grinning whilst driving it!
Jaz Porsche provided a great uplift from the January gloom by holding an open day to show off their new St. Albans premises and to display some of their projects and handy work.
Sleet and snow meant that driving conditions were not ideal but the prospect of quick blast up the M1 in my old 911 to Steve and Claire Winter’s new premises and meet up with fellow Porsche enthusiasts over a drink and bite to eat was too good to miss.
The new workshop is much more spacious than the one that Jaz left in Wembley and with fresh paint and great Porsche posters adorning the walls it looks like a clinically clean environment in which to service and restore treasured Porsches of all ages.
A quick chat with Steve resulted in me adding to his order for US-sourced Salt & Pepper 911 carpet sets. Then a chat with Bruce Cooper from Sportwagen got me booked in for a paint check and trimming work to fit the new carpet set. Job done!
The 2014 event was meant to feature the 1970 Le Mans winning Porsche 917K plus it’s two drivers but sadly only Richard Attwood was able to attend as Hans Hermann wasn’t well enough to travel to the UK.
To make up for this however – Jurgen Barth turned up to delight the crowds with a raucous blast up the driveway in the 917 after it was eventually cajoled into running on all 12 cylinders. I’ve jump started a few cars in my time but seeing a 917 being jump started was a first. It was great that perseverance won out as the sight and sound of this car was a visual and aural delight.